Jonah & Zephaniah: Prophetic words to Nineveh

Jonah Zephaniah

Wednesday 01/12/22 

Message – Jonah & Zephaniah: Prophetic words to Nineveh

Share this:

Twitter  

Jonah & Zephaniah: Prophetic words to Nineveh

Now we are going to read through the book of Zephaniah, which is a very short book written somewhere between 640 and 609BC, but most likely closer to 640BC because it could hardly be called prophetic if the events predicted had already occurred.

There isn’t much in the book that is original since Zephaniah is the last of the 9 prophets whose ministry and message are prior to Judah’s exile to Babylon. So he frequently references what the prophets who came before him said. As such Zephaniah is seen by some to be a prophetic summary and wrapping up of the pre-exile prophetic words and warnings. 

The minor prophets in the Old Testament are 12 in number though the order in which they appear in scripture does not correspond to the order in which they lived and conducted their ministries. 

I did not decide to incorporate in the teachings of the books of Kings and Chronicles, those prophetic books which corresponded to the events we were reading in order to minimize confusion. As such, we will have to circle back and read the books of Micah, Hosea and Amos when we are done with the minor prophetic books which took place around the time of Jeremiah. Jonah, on the other hand, we will deal with alongside Nahum.

  • Hosea  & Amos – Prophesied towards the beginning to middle part of the 8th century BC – around 790-750BC. Their prophecies regarded the Northern Kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam (son of Joash).  It was a time of economic wealth and foreign trade for Israel as apart from Judah. This opened them up to pagan influences especially Ephraim’s connection with Assyria.
  • Micah – Prophesied towards the end of the 8th century BC. The focus of his ministry was Judah and he was a contemporary of Isaiah.
  • Jonah – His ministry took place in about 750BC – almost 150 years before the total destruction of Nineveh which fell in 612BC

As of tonight we will have covered all but Nahum of the prophets who corresponded to Jeremiah’s ministry. They were…

  • Obadiah*, Nahum, Habakkuk* & Zephaniah* – All prophesied during the end of 7th through the beginning of 6th century around the end of the time of Judah’s destruction.

The remaining 4 minor prophets prophesied following the Babylonian exile. They begin with…

  • Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi – All prophesied following the Babylonian exile and correspond to the Historical books of Ezra & Nehemiah of the same time period.
  • Joel – Possibly prophesied during the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (516-70BC) due to its reflections on the liturgies then in use.

So we are going to look at both Jonah and Zephaniah. We will begin with Jonah because he predates Zephaniah by over 100 years and as you know, helps bring about the repentance of that nation. 

A little over one generation later, Nineveh returned to their wicked ways and God predicted their total destruction through Zephaniah.

Jonah

The name Jonah means “dove” and I’m not certain if it has any real meaning here and I don’t want to force one. 

Jonah’s father’s name Amittai seems to have more meaning at least on the surface. It means “truth” or “truth-telling”. This would be appropriate for a prophet and perhaps in Amittai’s case for having a son who is a prophet.

Jonah’s life, ministry and this book of prophecy can be dated to approximately 750 BC, which was during the reign of Israel’s northern king of Jereboam II. Jonah was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom, not of Judah. This is why he would have fled to Tarshish which was on the opposite side of the Mediterranean sea.

This book of prophecy is unique in all of scripture since the focus of the book is actually on the prophet himself, more than on what he prophesied. 

Nineveh, being a pagan nation, is unique in scripture as the focus of prophetic utterances. While this does happen in other books of prophecy like in Jeremiah, other nations are always peripheral to the main theme being Israel. 

In Jonah, Nineveh is the only nation God is prophetically addressing.

One last note on this book. It is a very remarkable book and it should be noted that until more modern times it was always viewed as a literal, historical event. 

In modern times it has begun to be seen more as an allegory – at least in part. It is important to know that the only things which influence people to call this an allegorical work is the portion where Jonah is swallowed by a great fish, lived through the experience and was then thrown up on the shore. While quite the tale, it would not be too great of a feat for an Almighty God.  

Second however, is the fact that the book itself is set in prose, but only a small portion of the second chapter is an actually in poetic verse. This is the section where Jonah prays and praises God and sounds much like words written by David in the book of Psalms.

All in all – there really is no literary reason to assume this book is anything but a genuine historic account, except for the miracles in it and if that is a reason to make it a book of allegory than we need to remove the first 11 chapters of Genesis and most of the Gospels as well. So, it is my view that this is a literal, literary account of a real life event in Jonah’s life. 

Let me add this last thought…even if this book is largely or even in part allegorical, it really makes little difference. The great majority of Jesus’ teachings were in the form of allegory – we call them parables. The fictional nature of the story by which a lesson is taught, cannot diminish the truthfulness or value of the lessons learned.

So without any more preamble let’s get into the book. 

Jonah 1:1-17, 

“(1) The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:  (2)  “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because their wickedness has confronted Me.” 

(3)  However, Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the LORD’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. 

He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, from the LORD’s presence.  

(4)  Then the LORD hurled a violent wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break apart.  (5)  The sailors were afraid, and each cried out to his god. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the load. 

Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down to the lowest part of the vessel and had stretched out and fallen into a deep sleep.  

(6)  The captain approached him and said, “What are you doing sound asleep? Get up! Call to your god. Maybe this god will consider us, and we won’t perish.”  

(7)  “Come on!” the sailors said to each other. “Let’s cast lots. Then we will know who is to blame for this trouble we’re in.” 

So they cast lots, and the lot singled out Jonah.  

(8)  Then they said to him, “Tell us who is to blame for this trouble we’re in. What is your business and where are you from? What is your country and what people are you from?”  

(9)  He answered them, “I am a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh, the God of the heavens, Who made the sea and the dry land.”  

(10)  Then the men were even more afraid and said to him, “What is this you’ve done?” For the men knew he was fleeing from the LORD’s presence, because he had told them.  

(11)  So they said to him, “What should we do to you to calm this sea that’s against us?” For the sea was getting worse and worse.  

(12)  He answered them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so it may quiet down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this violent storm that is against you.”  

(13)  Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not because the sea was raging against them more and more.  

(14)  So they called out to the LORD: “Please, Yahweh, don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t charge us with innocent blood! For You, Yahweh, have done just as You pleased.”  

(15)  Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.  

(16)  The men feared the LORD even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.  

(17)  Then the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights.”

Jonah 2:1-10, 

“(1) Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish:  (2)  I called to the LORD in my distress, and He answered me. I cried out for help in the belly of Sheol; You heard my voice.  (3)  You threw me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the current overcame me. All Your breakers and Your billows swept over me.  (4)  But I said: I have been banished from Your sight, yet I will look once more toward Your holy temple.  

(5)  The waters engulfed me up to the neck; the watery depths overcame me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.  (6)  I sank to the foundations of the mountains; the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever! But You raised my life from the Pit, LORD my God!  (7)  As my life was fading away, I remembered the LORD. My prayer came to You, to Your holy temple.  

(8)  Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love,  (9)  but as for me, I will sacrifice to You with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation is from the LORD!  

(10)  Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

Jonah 3:1-10, 

“(1) Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:  

(2)  “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I tell you.”  

(3)  So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the LORD’s command. 

Now Nineveh was an extremely large city, a three-day walk.”

This was more than likely a reference to the time it would take to either walk the length of it or walk the perimeter. Either way the distance traveled would be about 60 miles. For example, traveling from 75th street on Manatee Ave. to Hunsader Farm out on Waterbury Rd is about 50 miles…10 miles shy of this distance. So it was a sizeable city!

Archaeologist Henry Layard's image of Nineveh

Archaeologist Henry Layard’s image of Nineveh.

“(4)  Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In 40 days Nineveh will be overthrown!”  (5)  The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth–from the greatest of them to the least.  

(6)  When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  

(7)  Then he issued a decree in Nineveh: By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water.  

(8)  Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from the violence he is doing.  (9)  Who knows? God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.  

(10)  Then God saw their actions–that they had turned from their evil ways–so God relented from the disaster He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it.”

Jonah 4:1-11, 

“(1) But Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious.  (2)  He prayed to the LORD: 

“Please, LORD, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One Who relents from sending disaster.  

(3)  And now, LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  

(4)  The LORD asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  

(5)  Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made himself a shelter there and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city.  

(6)  Then the LORD God appointed a plant, and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah’s head to ease his discomfort. 

Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant.  (7)  When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, and it withered.  

(8)  As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he almost fainted, and he wanted to die. 

He said, “It’s better for me to die than to live.”  

(9)  Then God asked Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” 

“Yes,” he replied. “It is right. I’m angry enough to die!”  

(10)  So the LORD said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night.  (11)  Should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?”

I have always loved this book, for multiple reasons but primary among them is God’s loving heart regarding His creation.

During this time, God was THE God of the Jewish people, but He has ALWAYS been Creator and Owner of all land and people. The scriptures tell us that God watches ever human heart and works with each heart individually. THINK about that! What kind of mind…how great of a heart, must God have? First to even know each person and then the work with them both as a nation as we see here and as individuals – like we see in Jonah and Nineveh’s King.

Also, God’s great heart includes care for the lower creatures He has made. He knows that man has been placed over the works of His hands and that as such they often pay a high price for our sins. God expresses care for His servant Jonah, care for the pagan people of Nineveh and then His care for all the animals attached to this great city.

PLEASE, PLEASE let this weigh in your heart so that you might all the more greatly respect God the Father with a renewed desire to honor Him. His is SOOOO worthy!

God so loved the WORLD!

Now we move forward about 150 years to the life and time of Zephaniah.

Zephaniah

Since Zephaniah predicts the destruction of Nineveh (which happened in 612 B.C.) we know that his prophecy belongs to the first part of the reign of King Josiah.

The name Zephaniah means “Yahweh Hides” or “Yahweh Has Hidden.” 

Zephaniah likely lived the majority of his life during the reign of Manasseh who was a terrible and ungodly king, but one who at least towards the end of his life, humbled himself before God and was succeeded by his son Amon

Amon was more wicked than his father and was murdered after only 2 years on the throne. 

Josiah was Amon’s son and reigned in Judah. ALL OF THIS was during the life of Zephaniah and he continued to live and prophecy through the beginning of Josiah’s reign. 

As no doubt you remember, Josiah was a very good king who ushered in a spiritual reawakening. Zephaniah was likely part of the influence for that awakening. His book of prophecy had to be written in the years before this revival, and so at least in part God most likely used this prophecy to bring and further that spiritual revival.

Zephaniah 1:1-18, 

“(1) The word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.  

(2)  I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth–this is the LORD’s declaration.  

(3)  I will sweep away man and animal; I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, and the ruins along with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth–the LORD’s declaration.  

(4)  I will stretch out My hand against Judah and against all the residents of Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every vestige of Baal, the names of the pagan priests along with the priests;  (5)  those who bow in worship on the rooftops to the heavenly host; those who bow and pledge loyalty to the LORD but also pledge loyalty to Milcom;  (6)  and those who turn back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of Him.  

(7)  Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD, for the Day of the LORD is near.” 

Verse 5 is translated differently by various translations. The text may be referring to an actual king or may be a sarcastic reference to one of many pagan deities such as Milcom of the Ammonites, or Molech, but the NET translation reads like this, I will remove those who worship the stars in the sky from their rooftops, those who swear allegiance to the LORD while taking oaths in the name of their ‘king,’

Now remember what we have covered regarding the ‘Day of the Lord’. The word ‘Day’ here actually represents a season and the words ‘of the Lord’ refer to the advancement of His purposes and agenda on the earth.

Taken together, it means the season when God intervenes in human affairs by sending the promised Messiah and thereby begin the advancement of His kingdom through a New Covenant and by judging the earth, beginning with His Own people.

“Indeed, the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has consecrated His guests.  (8)  On the day of the LORD’s sacrifice I will punish the officials, the king’s sons, and all who are dressed in foreign clothing.  

(9)  On that day I will punish all who skip over the threshold, who fill their master’s house with violence and deceit.  

(10)  On that day–the LORD’s declaration–there will be an outcry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the Second District, and a loud crashing from the hills.  

(11)  Wail, you residents of the Hollow, for all the merchants will be silenced; all those loaded with silver will be cut off.  (12)  And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men who settle down comfortably, who say to themselves: The LORD will not do good or evil.  

(13)  Their wealth will become plunder and their houses a ruin. They will build houses but never live in them, plant vineyards but never drink their wine.  

(14)  The great Day of the LORD is near, near and rapidly approaching. Listen, the Day of the LORD–there the warrior’s cry is bitter.  

(15)  That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,  (16)  a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities, and against the high corner towers.  

(17)  I will bring distress on mankind, and they will walk like the blind because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.  (18)  Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them on the day of the LORD’s wrath. 

The whole earth will be consumed by the fire of His jealousy. For He will make a complete, yes, a horrifying end of all the inhabitants of the earth.”

By now you should be familiar enough with prophecy, especially Old Testament prophecy to see what is going on here.

Does this prophecy have a dual reference? Yes

What two things is it addressing? Israel’s departure from God and their idolatry during the life of Zephaniah AND their FUTURE failure to acknowledge Messiah when He comes.

What time period is this prophecy overlooking and why? The time of the Gentiles, because this is a prophecy to the Jews and therefore is focused upon them.

I am reminded of Jesus’ words to Peter on the seashore, the morning He told him to feed his lambs, – that the day was coming when he would be martyred for Christ

Peter’s reply was to ask the Lord what would become of John

Jesus’ reply in turn was, “If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.” – Jn. 21:22

God did not bring up the time of the Gentiles, no doubt, for multiple reasons, but primary among them was that their obedience or disobedience was not predicated on what would happen with the Gentiles. Like Peter, Israel’s response to God was their own. 

Notice in this prophecy Messiah is not directly mentioned, only indirectly by the use of the phrase, the ‘Day of the Lord’. Also, it seems to skip over the details of His arrival and their rejection of Him and go right to their punishment and that of the whole earth. This is to happen during the time of the Tribulation which will proceed the millennial reign of Christ over the earth from Jerusalem, when God restores Israel to their promised land.

This prophecy is more focused upon encouraging a change of heart and warning them of judgment if they do not humble themselves.

Zephaniah 2:1-15,  

“(1) Gather yourselves together; gather together, undesirable nation,  (2)  before the decree takes effect and the day passes like chaff, before the burning of the LORD’s anger overtakes you, before the day of the LORD’s anger overtakes you.  

(3)  Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who carry out what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the LORD’s anger.” 

No doubt this was an indirect way of telling Zephaniah that he would be spared since his name meant hidden or concealed by God.

“(4)  For Gaza will be abandoned, and Ashkelon will become a ruin. Ashdod will be driven out at noon, and Ekron will be uprooted.  

(5)  Woe, inhabitants of the seacoast, nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines: I will destroy you until there is no one left.”  

Cherethites is a name for the Philistines who originated from Crete and the name meant “emigrant”.

“(6)  The seacoast will become pasturelands with caves for shepherds and folds for sheep.  (7)  The coastland will belong to the remnant of the house of Judah; they will find pasture there. They will lie down in the evening among the houses of Ashkelon, for the LORD their God will return to them and restore their fortunes.  

(8)  I have heard the taunting of Moab and the insults of the Ammonites, who have taunted My people and threatened their territory.  (9)  Therefore, as I live–the declaration of the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel–Moab will be like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah–a place overgrown with weeds, a salt pit, and a perpetual wasteland. 

The remnant of My people will plunder them; the remainder of My nation will dispossess them.  (10)  This is what they get for their pride, because they have taunted and acted arrogantly against the people of the LORD of Hosts.  

(11)  The LORD will be terrifying to them when He starves all the gods of the earth. Then all the distant coastlands of the nations will bow in worship to Him, each in its own place.  

(12)  You Cushites will also be slain by My sword.  (13)  He will also stretch out His hand against the north and destroy Assyria; He will make Nineveh a desolate ruin, dry as the desert.  (14)  Herds will lie down in the middle of it, every kind of wild animal. Both the desert owl and the screech owl will roost in the capitals of its pillars. Their calls will sound from the window, but devastation will be on the threshold, for He will expose the cedar work.  

(15)  This is the self-assured city that lives in security, that thinks to herself: I am, and there is no one besides me. What a desolation she has become, a place for wild animals to lie down! Everyone who passes by her jeers and shakes his fist.”

Zephaniah 3:1-20,  

“(1) Woe to the city that is rebellious and defiled, the oppressive city!  

(2)  She has not obeyed; she has not accepted discipline. She has not trusted in the LORD; she has not drawn near to her God.  

(3)  The princes within her are roaring lions; 

her judges are wolves of the night, which leave nothing for the morning.  

(4)  Her prophets are reckless–treacherous men. 

Her priests profane the sanctuary; they do violence to instruction.  

(5)  The righteous LORD is in her; He does no wrong. He applies His justice morning by morning; He does not fail at dawn, yet the one who does wrong knows no shame.  

(6)  I have cut off nations; their corner towers are destroyed. I have laid waste their streets, with no one to pass through. Their cities lie devastated, without a person, without an inhabitant.  

(7)  I thought: You will certainly fear Me and accept correction. Then her dwelling place would not be cut off based on all that I had allocated to her. 

However, they became more corrupt in all their actions.  

(8)  Therefore, wait for Me–the LORD’s declaration–until the day I rise up for plunder. For My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, in order to pour out My indignation on them, all My burning anger; for the whole earth will be consumed by the fire of My jealousy.  

(9)  For I will then restore pure speech to the peoples so that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve Him with a single purpose.  

(10)  From beyond the rivers of Cush My supplicants, My dispersed people, will bring an offering to Me.  

(11)  On that day you will not be put to shame because of everything you have done in rebelling against Me. For then I will remove your boastful braggarts from among you, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain.  

(12)  I will leave a meek and humble people among you, and they will trust in the name of Yahweh.  

(13)  The remnant of Israel will no longer do wrong or tell lies; a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. But they will pasture and lie down, with nothing to make them afraid.  

(14)  Sing for joy, Daughter Zion; shout loudly, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!  (15)  The LORD has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. 

The King of Israel, the LORD, is among you; you need no longer fear harm.”  

This is a clear reference to Messiah and King and Lord.

“(16)  On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak.  (17)  The LORD your God is among you, a warrior Who saves. 

He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”  

(18)  I will gather those who have been driven from the appointed festivals; They will be a tribute from you, and reproach on her.  

(19)  Yes, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you. I will save the lame and gather the scattered; I will make those who were disgraced throughout the earth receive praise and fame.  

(20)  At that time I will bring you back, yes, at the time I will gather you. I will make you famous and praiseworthy among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes. Yahweh has spoken.”

This last part of Zephaniah’s prophecy also has a future dual reference.

1st and primary is a spiritual fulfillment for all of Israel who WILL receive their Messiah when He comes. Those who will find them famous and praiseworthy will be all Gentiles who come to Christ. We honor and love Israel and pray for their peace and restoration!

2nd – When Jesus comes to set up His earthly kingdom for a thousand years to gather His people to their promised land and reign from David’s throne. Then Israel will be center stage for all the earth and be both famous and praised!

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!